Building on a proud 100-year British aviation heritage, Airbus is the largest civil aerospace company in the country, the biggest civil aerospace exporter, the largest space satellite company, the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force and responsible for around 50% of the UK’s civil helicopter fleet.

RIAT 2013 - Royal International Air Tattoo

Each of the divisions – Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space – leads their respective market, relying on diverse skills, advanced technologies and facilities, that can only be found in the UK, across more than 25 sites stretching across the country from Aberdeen to Portsmouth.

The UK, with its global influence in the aerospace, defence, space and security sectors, remains an important part of Airbus; much as Airbus remains an important part of the UK – with local revenues of £5.6 billion.

 

Airbus Oxford Economic Impact Survey, 2022

Assessing Airbus’ impact in areas such as jobs, investment, research & development (R&D), supply chain and sovereign capability, the survey highlights that Airbus remains a key component of the UK’s wider industrial manufacturing capabilities, supporting economic performance. A recent Airbus Oxford Economics survey report found that Airbus was responsible for £7 billion of total contribution to the UK economy. 

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Levelling up local partners and regional growth

As a major employer in Britain, Airbus has invested significantly in levelling up its UK workforce. Airbus directly employs nearly 12,000 across its Commercial, Defence and Space and Helicopters divisions, and expects to hire a further 1,000 across the UK. Airbus indirectly supports 79,000 jobs in the UK, across the transport equipment manufacturing, business services and wholesale and retail trade sectors.

In 2022 alone, Airbus recognised the need to constantly invest in growth across the UK, spending £3.9 billion with UK suppliers. 50% of Airbus’ suppliers were SMEs, and the Company spent an average of £103,100 with micro firms (40% of average turnover).

Innovation

Airbus are actively working with institutions and partners to progress the UK’s net-zero and decarbonisation missions via the research and testing of our zero-emission programme, ZEROe, as well as our recently launched Wing Technology Development Centre (WTDC) for the building and testing of wings for next generation aircraft.

Airbus is supporting the UK’s ambition to become a Science and Technology Superpower, spending nearly £277 million on R&D in 2022, contributing to the technological advancement of both Britain and the wider aerospace industry.

Commercial Aircraft

The sites at Filton and Broughton design, test and manufacture the wings for all Airbus’ A320 family, A330 and A350 commercial aircraft, directly sustaining more than 8,000 full-time jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships. 

A220 family wings are designed and built by Spirit AeroSystems in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Broughton has a proud tradition of aerospace manufacturing dating back 80 years, having supplied the RAF with vital aircraft during the Second World War. Employing almost 5,000 people, Broughton is a global centre of excellence for manufacturing and delivers over 500 wing sets per year for the A320 family, A330 and A350. Airbus has invested more than £2 billion in the Broughton plant over the past 10 years. 

Core activities at Filton, where an additional 3,000 people work, are the design, engineering and support for Airbus wings, fuel systems and landing gear systems. Teams also work on aerodynamics research, development and test facilities, including our future zero-emissions programme, ZEROe, while wings for the A400M transporter are assembled on site.

A320 family flying together

Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters is headquartered at Oxford Airport, the UK's civil helicopter hub. We are a major supplier of helicopters to the civil, defence and air ambulance sectors in the UK. We have been present in the UK for nearly 50 years and we know how to deliver major support and services successfully; demonstrated by Puma, MFTS and NPAS programmes.

Last year we started construction on our new £55m HQ for Airbus Helicopters in Oxford, which will open in 2024. It will accommodate a growing workforce, including our apprentice programme, and enable us to deliver increased levels of efficiency at the same time as reducing our environmental footprint. 

We are delighted to be down-selected for UK MOD’s New Medium Helicopter competition. Our new investment in Broughton would see helicopters built in and exported from the UK to the world.

H175M

Defence

As the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force, Airbus is responsible for the delivery (through the AirTanker partnership) of the RAF’s Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft, designated the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport.

Two Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth are seen after linking up with the newly re-painted RAF Voyager and performing air-to-air refuelling after a Quick Reaction Alert scramble.

Airbus’ Filton site, in addition to its work on commercial aircraft, is also responsible for wing assembly and equipping all A400M multi-role airlifters, including the RAF A400M Atlas.

In Newport, South Wales, Airbus specialises in secure connectivity, cyber solutions and the security of critical infrastructure in the UK, serving as a key partner to the UK government and NATO-led information infrastructure programmes. One notable product, a powerful encryption device named Ectocryp, has been dubbed the “Enigma for the 21st century.”

Airbus Farnborough site is home to Zephyr, the world’s leading solar-electric, stratospheric Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).  Designed and developed in the UK, Zephyr is a world-record breaking aircraft that  can provide see, sense and connect capabilities which have the potential to revolutionise defence, humanitarian and environmental missions all over the world.

Connect beyond, with the world’s leading solar electric stratospheric UAS

Space

As the largest space company in Europe, and the UK’s major sovereign space company, Airbus designs and manufactures advanced satellites and systems for telecommunications, Earth observation, navigation and science programmes. 

Key work includes leading the European Space Agency (ESA) Solar Orbiter mission to study the Sun, the ESA ExoMars rover mission, and the Sentinel 5P, Aeolus, and Biomass Earth observation satellites which are helping fight climate change.

Find here more information, for the Airbus Space activity in United Kingdom

Airbus has successfully completed the first key phase of the Skynet 6A project with the achievement of the Preliminary Design Review

Airbus was awarded the Skynet 6A contract in July 2020 and teams across its sites in Stevenage, Portsmouth and Hawthorn have been working on the programme to achieve this key milestone.

Annual Reports

Airbus Defence and Space Limited 2022 Annual Report and Financial Statements

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Your Contacts

Airbus Operations Limited

Pegasus House, Aerospace Avenue, Filton, Bristol BS34 7PA

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Wellington House, 125-130 Strand, London, WC2R 0AP
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